Thursday, December 24, 2015

Is Breslov For You?

I've been gone awhile, and I'll be back soon. In the meantime, here is a video I made with a pretty decent text-to-speech app. I'm thinking of making more like this, on various topics.

As always, if you like it, share it.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hanuka and Oil

What Was the Miracle?

Many think that the miracle of Hanuka was having one day's oil last eight. The main miracle of the oil was the great military victory HaShem gave to Israel over the Greeks. How is that a miracle of oil, you might ask? Because an 'ish shemen', that is, an 'oil man', means a warrior.

Having a hard time believing this is the main miracle? Take a look at '`al hanisim' that we add in our prayers during Hanuka. What does it say there? It thanks HaShem for the military victory, the giving over of the wicked, militarily strong, and impure Greeks into the hands of the righteous, militarily small, and pure Jews - and that's it. No mention of the oil lasting eight days, which is minor and secondary.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Running and Returning

Raso washov, from Yehezqel 1:14, meaning 'running/going out and returning'. This concept is mentioned multiple times by R' Nahman in Liquttei Moharan, at least in 6, 13 and 79 of the first part.

(Sorry for these westernized renditions of Yehezqel's vision. They're entertaining, at least.)

While Rabenu offers fresh, original, and new hidushim on this concept from one Torah to the next, I just understood a very practical understanding of this concept that is something based mostly on what Torah 6 of L"M teaches about it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Explaining the Different Aspects of Torah

There are important questions to ask about the many different aspects of the Torah, especially like: which should be prioritized?

Ideally, one would want to study all aspects of Torah. However, there are so many aspects of Torah, it would be hard to fit it all into one day, even if you had all day to learn. Here, I want to explain and prioritize it, which can be beneficial to the newbie and the experienced.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How Halakha Works

A lot of people are confused about what is and isn't halakha. That isn't very surprising, since the whole subject of halakha and minhagh isn't really explained. Instead, many people are left with books and volumes of halakhic codes without much explanation of what has taken place for such a book to be written. However, when it comes to religious individuals either not knowing the difference in many important cases, or not properly distinguishing it themselves - this can be disheartening and problematic. Especially when someone tries to claim a halakhic monopoly by insisting that you must submit to what the majority of Jews customarily practice.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Hitbodedut 4-9

Hitbodedut (continued)

4. Within everyone is a very precious good point, the desire of which is always very strong to do only the will of it's Creator. However, the lusts break one's heart, and through this, one's heart is far from this [good] point. Therefore, one must speak between himself and his Creator in order to enlighten the aspect of the [good] point within him, to his heart. Through this, he'll nullify the foreskin of his heart, that is, evil love which is the disgrace of the heart that breaks the heart of a man (see sec. Tzadik, #42). (From Likutei Moharan I, 34)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Hitbodedut 1-3


1. One who wants to taste a taste of the hidden light, that is, the secrets of the Torah that will be revealed in the future, he should increase in [doing] hitbodedut between himself and his Creator and judge and adjudicate himself all the time regarding all his actions and affairs, whether or not such [a deed or affair] is proper and decent for him to do and to act accordingly in front of [the sight of] HaShem who rewards him all the time and at every instance with goodness.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Speech 18-23 (end)

Speech (continued)

18. Speech in holiness; that is, words of Torah, prayer, and fear of HaShem, are very high and precious, because holy speech is an aspect of the Divine Presence, an aspect of the revelation of HaShem's kingdom and faith. It is [also] an aspect of the spirit of the Messiah, an aspect of ruah hakodesh, an aspect of the resurrection of the dead, an aspect of the unification of the Holy One Blessed is He and His Divine Presence. (From Likutei Moharan I, 78)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Speech 10-17

Speech (continued)

10. Via lashon hara, the koah hamedame increases, because [divine] awareness leaves one through lashon hara. And one falls from love of HaShem, falling into animalistic 'love', which is all of the lusts, all of which come from the koah hamedame, which is the animalistic force that increases via lashon hara. Memory is thereby blemished and one falls to forgetfulness which the death of the heart; [meaning], that his heart is dead within him and he doesn't place it upon his heart to constantly remember the world to come, where therein is eternal life. He (such a person), while living, is called dead since he doesn't place upon his heart to remember his eternal purpose [to serve HaShem] every day. (From Likutei Moharan I, 54)

11. Through lashon hara one doesn't have surviving male children. (There^)

12. When the generation doesn't guard their mouths from lashon hara and other blemished speech, the fit of the generation stumble into pride, God forbid. This is an aspect of the exile of the Divine Presence. (From Likutei Moharan I, 58)

13. Via the lust for food and drink, speech is drawn into exile, jammed between the front and back of the neck and thus one cannot speak anything before HaShem. The remedy for this is fasting. (From Likutei Moharan I, 62)

14. Through wicked speech, like lashon hara, gossip, lies, [improper] jest, flattery, and embarrassing one's fellow in public, profanity, idle talk, and all other kinds of wicked speech, particularly lashon hara against tzadikim and good people - through all these [kinds of] wicked speech are wings made for the serpent so he'll be able to fly and greatly harm the world, God forbid. Meaning, through this the 'wisdom' of philosophy and heresy, which are an aspect of the original snake, increase and spread out. The evil 'wisdom' [of the philosophers and heretics] increases and flies around and greatly harms the world, God forbid, by lashon hara. However, wings for holiness are made through holy speech. (From Likutei Moharan I, 63)

15. One must put forth effort to serve HaShem with every drop of blood existent on one's body. That is, speaking much in Torah [learning] and prayer until all one's blood is made into (used for) holy speech of Torah and prayer - then one will merit peace and will annul the characteristic of [needing to] win [an argument] and dispute. For the characteristic of [needing to] win [an argument] and dispute is drawn from blood that hasn't yet been used to serve HaShem with. (From Likutei Moharan I, 75)

16. Through words of Torah and prayer, all the fallen sparks are raised and all the fallen universes are repaired and renewed, and it is considered as if one has created the heavens, earth, and all the universes anew. Therefore, one must speak only holy words and no other words, in order to raise the sparks and repair all the universes, and through this the coming of the Messiah comes nearer. (There^)

17. One must speak much in Torah and prayer, until the body is completely annulled, as naught and nothing. This is merited through fear that by which one merits peace, and further by which all the blessings [from HaShem] are drawn. (There^)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Speech 1-9

The greatness of its power for good, and the opposite, God forbid.

1. Poverty comes through lashon hara and idle talk, but through [giving] charity to a Torah scholar, this is fixed and one merits wealth. (From Likutei Moharan I, 4)

2. By speaking out Torah in words, the speech enlightens the person in all the places he needs to repent, until he merits complete repentance. By this, one merits to come to understandings of the Torah in its depth (see sec. Torah Learning, #1-11). (From Likutei Moharan I, 11)

3. Via wholeness of holy tongue, meaning holiness of speech, wherein one increases speaking words of Torah, prayer, supplications, requests, and conversations between himself and his Creator, and he is careful not to speak defective words which include lashon hara, lies, etc - through this [holiness of speech] one merits tikun habrit. Also, to the opposite: through tikun habrit one merits wholeness of holy speech. (From Likutei Moharan I, 19)

4. Speech that isn't listened to and received isn't called speech at all. The rectification for speech, that it will be listened to and received, is through praise of the true tzadikim - this is [in fact] the overall rectification of speech. (From Likutei Moharan I, 29)

5. Words are the vessels of abundance [from HaShem]; abundance is received by them. According to speech, thus is the abundance [received] - if speech is whole and in its fullness [in holiness], then one can receive much abundance through it. For this reason is it necessary to speak prayer [and not merely think it]. (From Likutei Moharan I, 34)

6. When one blemishes speech, which is the breath of the mouth of the Holy One Blessed is He, then through the blemish, the breath (ruah) of his mouth is made into a storm wind (ruah). The storm wind is the great Accuser, that from him come all the prosecutions and tests [that a person goes through], and he "assaults the bodies of human beings" (Tikunei HaZohar, Tikun 18). All the bad informing (tattling) that people speak about a person comes from this storm wind, because it is the aspect of "the end of all flesh" (Genesis 6), since he makes an end and finality to all flesh. All of this comes from a blemish in speech. (From Likutei Moharan I, 38)

7. The rectification of speech is through the Torah learned in poverty and hardship at a time when a person is pressed. A cord of mercy is drawn over a person from this, and all prosecutors and the whole side of impurity (evil forces) are banished from him. [Also] through this, speech is rectified and elevated to it's source. Then, the speech comes out in song, praise, and glorification of the Holy One Blessed is He, [and one] merits to to pray to, thank, and praise HaShem. By this, one will merit to speak between himself and his Creator with a blaze of power, arousing himself to [true] service of HaShem, until he'll merit to true speech - to the choicest truth within the speech, meaning he'll speak before HaShem in great and full truth, and he'll spread out his conversation and speak with the heat (passion) of the heart words of truth within the heart, with great arousal to repentance, until he'll see his [own] insignificance and the greatness of the Creator until he comes to great shame from this, becoming ashamed from before Him over the greatness of his sins.

Through this, one merits the light of tefillin, which are an aspect of devekut to HaShem, the aspect of the radiating skin of the face (Exodus 34). By [attaining all of] this, all of one's transgressions are forgiven and one clings himself to the Tree of Life (see Shame and Brazenness, #2). (There^)

8. One must be careful not to hear words from a knowledgeable wicked person because his words are venomous air of promiscuity and they give birth to promiscuity in the listener. (From Likutei Moharan I, 43)

9. Words that are not holy words, cause the awakening of the sukot of the Christians, the suka of the nations of the world, and the right hand of falsehood overpowers, the exile increases, and [the Jewish people] is distanced from the holiness of the Land of Israel. And [also] through this, the Rabbi of truth is ignored, and conflict and dispute increase, and the Divine Presence comes into dispute with her children (Israel) in exile (Tikunei HaZohar) who had been exiled from their Father's table and had left their Land.
However, through holy speech, which is powerful prayer, the truth overcomes (see sec. Prayer, #45). (From Likutei Moharan I, 48)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Knowledge 43-54 (end)

Knowledge (Continued)
43. Via anger, one's wisdom leaves him and the image of God leaves his face and he no longer has the face of a human (see sec. Anger, #5). (From Likutei Moharan I, 57).

44. The main sustenance of [divine] knowledge is by three aspects, they are:
a. One must teach his wisdom to others and to draw them under the wings of the Divine Presence.

b. One must precede fear of sin to his wisdom.
c. One must also exacting in how to present his wisdom, that his words will be the words of the mouth of a pleasing sage and not be contemptible [words].
Then, through the knowledge one merits to draw three influxes: food, drink, and clothing. (From Likutei Moharan I, 58)

45. When wisdom is in its fullness and wholeness, then one is able to subdue all of the oppressors who chase after the weak-of-strength among Israel, and to draw them (the latter) into the service of HaShem. Through this, one merits to conceive new Torah insights on the Sabbath, doubly.

46. The main pleasure of the world to come is to give thanks and praise to His Great Name, and to know and recognize Him, for through this is one close and right next to Him. For the more one knows and recognizes Him, the more one is right next to Him; because everything else will be annulled in the future, and nothing will be left in the future besides this thing: to thank, praise, and know Him - and this is the whole delight of the world to come. (From Likutei Moharan II, 2)

47. The essence of a person is his [divine] knowledge. One who does not have [divine] knowledge is not among civilization and he is not called "human" at all. Rather, he is an animal in the form of a human. Knowledge is mainly holy knowledge, the knowledge of our holy Torah, to know that there is a God who rules and oversees the earth, and to do His will and His commandments. When a person merits this [kind of] knowledge in wholeness, he is saved from all sins and transgressions. For [as our Sages said], 'a person does not sin unless a spirit of folly enters into him'. However, when a person draws upon himself this holy knowledge, remembering HaShem at all times, he will definitely be spared from sinning. (From Likutei Moharan II, 7)

48. That which the world is far away from HaShem and don't draw closer to Him is only a result of them not having a settled mind, and [that] they don't settle themselves. The main thing is to try to settle one's mind well, [on] what is the purpose of all lusts and all the matters of this world; whether they be the lusts that enter the body or lusts that are in the body like, like honor and the like, for example. Then, [when a person looks at the purpose and end to all of these, he will realize they are all vanity and] he will definitely return to HaShem. (Likutei Moharan II, 10)

49. The main settling of the mind is via joy, because by joy, the mind is settled and one can lead the mind according to his will, to think about his eternal purpose. However, by depression and melancholy, the mind and knowledge are in exile and it's hard for one to settle his mind. Hence, depression is a major obstacle in serving HaShem. (There^)

50. One who has whole knowledge knows that all the time in the world is nothing, for time is essentially [a byproduct] of a lack of knowledge. However, the more the intellect is grown, the more one sees and understands the nullification of time (see inside Likutei Moharan II, 62 which explains this well).
Also, in reality we very much see the sprouting of time as a passing shadow and like a disappearing cloud, very much. If you pay attention to this, you will be immensely spared from the worry of this world and you'll be strengthened to snatch up whatever you can at any time, that which will cause you to succeed for eternity, for there it is above time completely, because it is the eternal world. (Likutei Moharan II, 61)

51. There are several idiocies that cling and attach to the mind, particularly confusions in faith. Through sleep, they are separated from the mind, and sleep exceedingly benefits faith. (From Sihot HaRan 110)

52. Via seeing oneself with the true Tzadik, one's mind and knowledge shines. Through this, one receives greatness and authority according to [the amount] his mind shined. [Also] through this, one merits to attain new Torah insights appropriate to him, and by that one merits shame, repentance, and true humility, which is the aspect of the eternal life of the world to come (see sec. Pride and Humility, #30). (From Likutei Moharan II, 72)

53. Wisdom is essentially when one determines that wisdom is far from him. And it is a great wisdom and a great work to make oneself as an animal [in a certain kind of good way, not as brought above in #47], see sec. Innocence. (From Likutei Moharan II, 83 and Sihot HaRan 15)

54. One needs a great merit to be able to sit oneself down for one hour each day and to be remorseful for that which is necessary to regret - for not every person merits settling their mind. Therefore, all must greatly strengthen to see to it to settle oneself well, in regard to all one's actions and deeds, [to determine] if it is fitting to spend one's days with actions like these. (From Sihot HaRan 47)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Likutei Moharan I #3, Point-by-Point Summary

All the following points are explained and proven in the full text of Likutei Moharan from the Tanakh, the statements of Hazal, the Midrashim, the Holy Zohar, the writings of the Arizal, and more.

1. Through holy melody/song/music, one raises the kingdom of holiness, merits kingship/preeminence, and the melody benefits the service of HaShem.

2. The singers and musicians of the side of evil blemish the kingdom of holiness and lengthen the exile. Their music harms the service of HaShem.

3. Through learning 'Gemara'* at night one is spared from the damage that the bad music of the above-mentioned singers has on the service of HaShem.

*(Note: this includes literally the Gemara, as well as the Zohar, writings of the Arizal, and the Torah of Rebbe Nahman - what we're learning right now)

4. Through song in holiness, it's possible to come to an aspect of prophecy, because it causes the person to cling to HaShem.

5. Through learning 'Gemara'* at night, a cord of mercy is drawn over a person, and he is saved from learning Torah for ulterior motives. Additionally, he merits holy song, kingship/preeminence, he is able to rule over that which he desires, and he is able to merit prophecy.

6. One who learns 'Gemara'* at night and merits all of the above in point #5 is able to cause another to die and cause another to live. Therefore, he must judge every person favorably, in order that he not destroy the world; for HaShem desires mercy and the existence of the world.

7. Through learning 'Gemara'* at night, it is possible to hear the song of unfit singers and musicians who make music from the side of evil and not only not be damaged by it, but he can raise the music and attach himself to HaShem through it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Knowledge 36-42

Knowledge (Continued)

36. One must really look upon his ways, to see and contemplate well all of the matters and reasons that HaShem sets and brings to him every single day. Each day holds different thoughts, words, and actions from one's acquaintances, and he must know that HaShem contracts His Godliness from infinity unto finitude, to the very center point of the physical world which the person stands in.

And He sets for each person thoughts, words, and actions according to the day, according to the person, and according to the place. And He dresses up hints [within those thoughts, words, and actions] in order to draw one closer to serving Him. Therefore, a person must look at all of this and expand his mind and intellect, to look upon and contemplate every thought, word, and action that HaShem orders him each day; to understand from them the hints that HaShem hints to him, and to draw closer to Him each time from whatever place he is at.

In all matters, in business, and in all the things in the world that HaShem sets for a person each day - in all of them there are specific hints that HaShem hints to him each time, to draw closer to Him. One must expand one's awareness and look upon this well. (From Likutei Moharan I, 54)

37. However, one must be careful to contract his mind so as not to delve his thought too much into this; not to exit the bounds of holiness. That is, that one's thought shouldn't shoot out as a result of this, into philosophical inquisition and confusions, God forbid. Rather, [one should think] according to [normal] human intellect, thus should he expand his thought in this. And also, one shouldn't look beyond his level, for "that which is beyond you, don't inquire". (There^)

38. 'Big shots' are usually fools. (From Likutei Moharan I, 55)

39. One must be careful of the proliferation of wisdom, that his wisdom should not be greater than his deeds. For the main strengthening of the heart, to draw closer to the truth, to HaShem and His holy Torah, is only through good deeds. However, one whose intellect is greater than his good deeds, his heart has no strength to properly prepare the intellect in holiness. Then, through this, his intellect causes to sin more. Therefore, one must distance himself from the proliferation of vain wisdom, which is the wisdom of the world. Greater yet should one distance himself from the 'wisdom' of philosophy, [instead he should] only annul his intellect to the men of truth who walk in the path of truth, according to what we received from our Sages of blessed memory (see sec. Inquisition, #6). (There^)

40. All must know that HaShem is hidden (so-to-speak) within all the concealments that are in the world. For there are two kinds of concealments. There is a concealment and a concealment within a concealment. When HaShem is hidden within [only] one concealment, it's still hard to find him. However, even so, it's possible to weary and strive until finding Him, since one knows HaShem is hidden from him.

However, when HaShem is hidden in a concealment within a concealment; that is, that the concealment itself is concealed from one, to the point that he doesn't know HaShem is concealed from him - then it is very hard to find Him. This is drawn from a multitude of sins, God forbid.

When one sins and repeats it, and it is made to seem as if permissible [to the person] - this is one concealment. However, when one who sins more, God forbid, he falls into the aspect of concealment within a concealment. But truly, even there in the concealment within a concealment, He is hidden. For without His vitality, nothing in the world could exist.

Therefore, via the power of learning Torah, it's possible to change the concealments to awareness. To know that HaShem is even hidden there - even in the force of a concealment within a concealment. [This one becomes aware of] until he hears, wherever he is, the proclaiming voice of the Torah, which proclaims and cries out: "Until when, fools, will you love foolishness?" (Proverbs 1). (From Likutei Moharan I, 56)

41. According to the expansion of [divine] awareness/knowledge, is how easy one's livelihood is. Everyone who lacks knowledge more, he wearies and toils after a livelihood more. (There^)

42. According to the expansion of [divine] awareness/knowledge is how much peace increases. For dispute, anger, and cruelty is from a lack of knowledge. All the more knowledge increases, mercy, kindness, and peace increase. Through this, one merits healing. (There^)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Likutei Moharan I #2, Point-by-Point Summary

All the following points are explained and proven in the full text of Likutei Moharan from the Tanakh, the statements of Hazal, the Midrashim, the Holy Zohar, the writings of the Arizal, and more.

1. Prayer is the essential weapon of the Messiah and the man of Israel, that through it one can win all wars, both physically and spiritually.

(Note: be aware that this does not mean, as is too commonly misunderstood, that in a time of war one can rely on a miracle from HaShem. Instead, one must pray and also take all necessary action to wage war, as R' Nahman states in Sefer HaMidot, Meriva #101 that in a time of war one must prepare weapons and fight, and not rely on a miracle. Point #1 simply means that prayer is the backbone of physical and spiritual wars.)

2. One who guards himself from sexually impure thoughts, words, and actions, merits prayer; and one who does not guard himself has true prayer taken away from him.

3. Giving tzedaka (charity) before praying makes the prayer fluent in the mouth.

4. A person is saved from foreign thoughts that come during prayer via tzedaka.

5. Through whole prayer, which does not veer to the right or left, one "manages his affairs with mishpat (justice)"; mishpat is the Middle Pillar.

6. Complete prayer comes through completely guarding oneself from sexually impure thoughts, words, and actions.

7. The true Tzadik of the generation (note: this is R' Nahman for all the generations between him and the Messiah) knows how to elevate prayers to the proper place. Therefore, all must attach their prayers to him.

8. From the above-stated prayers in #7, the Tzadik builds up the stature of the Shekhina (Divine Presence), drawing closer the coming of the Messiah.

9. Torah learning and prayer strengthen each other, and the letters of the Torah that one learns for the sake of keeping and doing it are sparks of souls that enclothe within the prayer and are renewed there in the aspect of a pregnancy.

10. If a person prays and does hitbodedut (secluded and personal conversation with HaShem) daily for a long time, and it seems to him that it isn't benefiting him, he should only continue because the of the Shekhina (see #8 above) simple has not been built up yet [to the level needed for him to see his prayers come to fruition].

11. It isn't proper to expect reward for anything or to think that one's successes are from his prayers and Torah learning - because everything is from HaShem and His mercy (meaning He is both the cause and the effect).

12. The evil inclination is mainly for sexual promiscuity, and the main testing of a person in this world is in this lust.

13. The true Tzadik of the generation is the 'great luminary' and he shines and enlightens prayer, which is the aspect of the 'small luminary'.

Likutei Etzot, Knowledge 31-35

Knowledge (Continuned)

31. There are several aspects of sleep. There is physical sleep which is rest for the mind. There is also the aspect of learning which is an aspect of sleep in terms of devekut to the Creator - and this is learning the plain meaning of Torah. There is also sleep which is the aspect of faithful business dealings, and when a person deals faithfully in business, then the mind, which is the soul, enters the aspect of faith and is renewed there and strengthened from its tiredness, and it draws new intellect from the Light of the Face [of HaShem].

The main thing here is faith, that one must guard faith well. Then, when one's mind is weary, he renews it within the faith, through the aspect of sleep; whether by simply physical sleep, that then the mind is renewed, as is apparent in reality. However, the main thing is faith, and that is the recitation of Shema in bed which is read before sleeping. And it must be said with intent, in order to attach and place one's soul within faith at the time of sleeping. There, it will be renewed in the aspect of "new things of the mornings, great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3). Through this sleep, one will merit receiving a new intellect and soul from the Light of the Face.

And thus, one who has the aspect devekut [to HaShem], and his mind wearies by this, he then needs to learn the plain meaning of Torah and also to enter into faith at that time. That is, after his mind begins to become confused and he is unable to cling to HaShem anymore in the aspect of mind and knowledge, then he needs to "remove" his knowledge and mind completely and attach himself to faith in simplicity and learn the plain meaning of Torah in innocence and complete faith.

For truly, at the time the mind exists in attachment [to HaShem] or whatever level it is at (meaning, when it is not in the aspect of sleep), even then the main sustenance of the knowledge and mind is via faith - for there is no relying on the intellect alone, as is clarified above, in #15. However, when knowledge departs, then one must place it into faith alone, through one of the aspects of sleep as stated above. And there, the main thing is also faith. When one does business with faith, then his soul, which is his intellect, comes within the faith and is renewed there. (From Likutei Moharan I, 35)

32. Guarding faith is through fulfilling, "he speaks truth in his heart" (Psalm 15) while doing business (see also sec. Money, #21). (There^)

33. Before it has a revelation in Torah and serving [HaShem], every soul from among Israel is tested and refined in the exile of [all] 70 [prototype] nations; that is, in their [specific] lusts. For each of the 70 nations has its own bad trait of its own, which another doesn't have. And as a result of these traits, they (the 70 nations) are distanced from the 70 interfaces of the Torah.

And the shell/peel precedes the fruit. One who wants to eat the fruit needs to first break the shell/peel (Translator's note: the Hebrew term for "shell" also refers to the spiritual forces of evil and impurity). Therefore, before [a soul receives] a revelation of [divine] knowledge, which is a revelation of Torah, which is the essence of knowledge, wisdom, and truth - the soul must go through an 'exile'. That is, through the traits and lusts of the nations, in order to break them and to afterwards come to a revelation in Torah and serving [HaShem].

The main thing is to break the lust for promiscuity which is the summation/all-encompassment of all bad lusts and bad traits, and it is the main test and refinement. And when a person's soul comes into this test, exile, and refinement, which is essentially the lust for promiscuity, then he needs to raise his voice and cry out many cries that include at least 70. Just as the woman giving birth actually cries out 70 cries (Translator's note: these 70 cries are alluding to something spiritual, the number of physical cries is not necessarily important; it may be more or less than 70). Through this, one merits breaking this lust [along] with all the other lusts, and will merit a great revelation. And according to his rectification [of this lust], thus will be [the amount or which of] the revelation of the 70 interfaces of the Torah. (From Likutei Moharan I, 36)

34. A person must put forth effort to come to a wholeness of [divine] knowledge. That is, he'll merit holy knowledge as much as possible for a person to know and attain [until the amount that] it is impossible for a person to know more. It is impossible to come to this except through engaging in drawing people closer to serving HaShem. Through this, his mind becomes complete. [Also,] through this, he merits children and is able to heal barren women. (From Likutei Moharan I, 53)

35. This is the reason tzadikim weary themselves to go after people [in order] to draw them closer to serving HaShem. It isn't to increase their honor, God forbid, rather it's in order to complete their [divine] knowledge. (There^)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Likutei Etzot, Knowledge 21-30

Knowledge (continued)

21. You also must know, that even if you are sunken in the realm of the klipot, and you're on a very low level to the point that it seems to you that you're no longer able to draw closer to HaShem since you became so distanced from him - even so, know that even in the place you are, you can also find His Godliness there; and you can attach yourself to Him from there and turn in complete repentance. It is not far from you, rather, in your place the clothing (the concealment) [of Godliness] is great. (From Likutei Moharan I, 33)

22. The one who overpowers his inclination and forces his evil inclination [to subside and conform to his good inclination] is very much comparable to an angel of HaShem of Legions, and even in worldly things he can collect letters of the Torah. Even when he speaks with gentiles or sees their traits, he knows [their] vitality [from] Godliness; that is, the [Hebrew] letters of the Torah en-clothed there. And he merits that they (the Hebrew letters) will reveal secrets of the Torah to him. That is, the Hidden and Ancient Torah, and he merits to taste a taste of the light of love within [divine] knowledge. This 'love' is above time and above dimensions. And he will see and attain this good and hidden light, that being the Hidden Torah and the hidden tzadikim. (There^)

23. The more one goes from level to level the more he draws closer to HaShem, and he is able to know HaShem with an exceeding understanding. He is able to love himself with HaShem with exceeding love. (There^)

24. Everyone must attach his heart to his [divine] knowledge; for every one among Israel knows that there is a God, in general, and according to this knowledge, it would definitely be proper to annul all his bad desires and traits. However, the wicked are under the authority of their heart, and all desires and traits are in the heart. Therefore, everyone must see to it to attach their hearts to their [divine] knowledge; that the heart will be under the authority of their knowledge and that he will force his heart and desires to [conform to] this general knowledge of HaShem, that the whole earth is filled with His glory, until he breaks and annuls all his desires via this awareness.
Through this, one merits the light of the love of [divine] awareness, which is the hidden light, the Hidden Torah and the hidden tzadikim. (There^)

25. Wisdom is the source of all things. Therefore, all must guard their intellects from foreign intellects. For essentially, the wisdom to acquire wholeness is only Godly wisdom, and the other wisdom is only null wisdom and not wisdom at all. (From Likutei Moharan I, 35)

26. At the time of birth, everyone's intellect is contracted; and when one begins to use it in contemplating serving HaShem, then his intellect grows greater. However, when one puts foreign thoughts into his mind, which are foreign wisdoms, then the holiness of his intellect decreases according to the place [that] the foreign wisdom [takes up]. Upon this foreign intellect, all the bad and obscene traits come together and connect. (There^)

27. Therefore, one must guard his intellect and thought very well, that no foreign thought or foreign wisdom will enter into his mind. This is mainly what repentance and rectification for all sins is - when one overcomes, casting all foreign thoughts out of his mind and intellect. For the intellect is the soul (translator's note: "the neshama", which is the specific aspect of a person's soul correlating to the realm of thought), and when he sanctifies his intellect, his soul, through this he elevates and returns everything to its source. That is essentially what repentance is. (There^)

28. When a person guards himself from foreign intellects, he furthermore must renew his intellect all the time. By this, his soul is renewed; for the intellect is the soul.

29. The overpowering of the evil inclination, which is the original snake, is mainly upon the Torah scholars and learners who have especially great knowledge. For he (the original snake) is always coiled against them because they have a higher intellect/soul. The main thing is to guard one's mind against bad thoughts very well, for upon them is the whole construct of the evil inclination, God forbid. (There^)

30. The renewal of the intellect, which is renewal of the soul, is through sleep. For when the mind wearies, then through sleep it is renewed. And at the time of sleep, the mind, which is the soul, comes into faith; in the aspect of, "new things of the mornings, great is Your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3). (There^)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Likutei Moharan I #1, Point-by-Point Summary

All the following points are explained and proven in the full text of Likutei Moharan from the Tanakh, the statements of Hazal, the Midrashim, the Holy Zohar, the writings of the Arizal, and more.

1. Prayers and requests are received via Torah learning.

2. Torah learning elevates the charm and importance of Israel.

3. Learning Torah with might strengthens the Kingdom of Holiness and the good inclination.

4. Torah learning is able to illuminate for a person the wisdom that is in Creation, and a person is able to understand the hints among everything in the world (that is, as to why HaShem created a thing in such a way).

5. Learning Torah is the remedy for the insanity of the spirit of folly by which a person comes to sin.

6. Learning Torah saves a person from the slyness of the evil inclination, particularly when the evil inclination clothes itself in a mitzva (that is, when it tries to make a sin appear like a mitzva).

7. A person must make an effort that his words to HaShem have charm. He merits it through learning Torah.

8. A person must look upon the wisdom and intellect that exists in everything, and to attach himself to the wisdom in order that it enlighten him to draw closer to HaShem.

9. One merits the light of the wisdom and intellect behind all created thing through receiving the Kingdom of Holiness. To do that, he must remove from himself all foreign "wisdoms".

10. The battle between the good inclination and the evil inclination is mainly the battle between true wisdom and foreign "wisdom".

11. Foreign wisdom = the evil inclination = the spirit of folly = insanity = the disregard of the birthright by Esau = the kingdom of the "other side" (the forces of evil/impurity).

12. When Israel eventually merits to subjugate the above in point 11, the light of the moon (Kingdom) is made as the light of the sun (Wisdom), combining ח (Wisdom) with נ (Kingdom), creating חן (charm), and making a mark in the heart of HaShem (figuratively speaking) which is the letter ת (a symbol of a marking), creating the word נחת (content/satisfaction) between HaShem and Israel and thereby Israel's prayers are accepted.

13. For the combination of true wisdom that comes via Torah learning, the Torah learning must be done with innocence and might.

Likutei Etzot (Compilations of Advice), Knowledge 15-20

Knowledge (continued)

15. When a person does some commandment (or good deed), there is power in the commandment to go out and awaken all the worlds for the service of HaShem, and [then] blessing is drawn to all the worlds through this. The blessing that is effected from above essentially is intellect. And when it comes below it is made for each and every one according to his will.
Therefore, one who is cares about his soul must direct his will, that he'll draw the blessing of the intellect, and he must draw faith into the blessing of the intellect, for there is no relying on the intellect itself, as is known.
Also, through the inner workings of the blessings which are drawn through the commandments, the one who settles and orders the mind is blessed.
Through all of this, one merits to attain the light which is above [the three levels of the soul which are] nefesh, ruah, and neshama; [that light] which is the light of Ein Sof which is impossible to attain with any intellect, except through doing the commandments with joy, one merits it in the aspect of "there but not there". (From Likutei Moharan I, 24)

16. Everyone must see to it to take oneself out of the medame and to go up to the intellect; to not walk after the lusts of the instinctive nature (lit. of the medame), [which are] the animalistic lust (or urge) - only to walk after the intellect. The intellect pushes away all lusts, entirely. All lusts are the opposite of the intellect and are only by the force of the medame which is the animalistic force. For, also an animal has this force and it also lusts after these things.
When one is drawn after the medame in the heart, this is the aspect of the arbitrariness of the heart which goes after the medame in the heart, and does an act of an animal exactly. One [therefore] must get out of the arbitrariness of the heart, and to break his heart of stone, going after the intellect. (From Likutei Moharan I, 25).

17. Even if one already broke the medame and by this raised the attribute of the intellect, [even] with all this, the intellect is still in potentiality. One must use his intellect, meaning to investigate and think of serving HaShem. And then, when one researches with his intellect and uses it, then he brings out the intellect from potential into actual. Then afterwards, when he attains with his intellect all that is in the capability of a man to attain, this is what remains for him after death.
The main existence of a person after his death is only this intellect of holiness that he acquired and reached in Torah and serving [HaShem]. (There*)

18. When speech is without knowledge, then there is no good in it. And then, the speech is not heard or received. And then, it is not called speech at all, because speech which is not heard or received is not called speech. (From Likutei Moharan I, 29)

19. The correction of speech is through praise of the tzadikim, for through praise of the tzadikim, knowledge is elevated. Then, speech is received from knowledge and it [thereby] has good in it; thus, the speech is heard and received - and this is the overall rectification for speech. (There^)

20. One must know that the whole earth is filled with His glory, and there is no place void of Him, and He fills all the universes and surrounds all the universes. Even one who does business among the nations cannot apologize and say that it is impossible to serve HaShem because of the density and worldliness that always falls upon him as a result of the business that he always does among them. For in all worldly things and in all the languages of the nations, one can find Godliness in them. For without Godliness, they have no source of life and existence at all, rather, that which is on a lower level has its [source of] Godliness in greater contraction and it (the Godliness) is en-clothed in many more garments. (From Likutei Moharan I, 33)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Likutei Moharan I, Torah 6 (Part 2)

The exact wording of Rabenu [Nahman] z"l, given on Shabbat Shuva in the year 5563 (1803) in Breslov."And HaShem said to Moses, call unto Joshua..." (Deuteronomy 31)

(Continued from here)

4. And when a person wants to walk in the ways of repentance, he must be proficient in halakha (practical Torah application), and he must have two proficiencies: that is, proficient in running/going out and proficient in returning; as it is written, "Fortunate is the one who enters and leaves" (Zohar Vayak'hel and Ha'azinu). This is, "if I ascend to the heavens, You are there..." (Psalm 139), the aspect of going up/entering, proficiency in running/going out. [And the second part of the verse,] "...if I descend to the pit, here You are" - the aspect of leaving, the aspect of proficiency in returning/resting/consolidating.

This is, "I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me" (Song of Songs 6), "I am for my beloved..." - this is the aspect of entering/progressing; "...and my beloved is for me" - this is the aspect of leaving/returning/settling/resting/consolidating. This is the secret of the mystical intention of [the month of] Elul, and it is the main honor of HaShem. This is, "and you shall honor him from doing your ways" (Isaiah 58). "Your ways" is in the plural - meaning [the two 'ways' of] entering and leaving. And when one has these two proficiencies, then he walks in the ways of repentance and merits the honor of HaShem. As it is written, "and you shall honor him from the doing your ways". That is, that he merits kether (crown), for there is no kavod (honor) without the letter kaf, and then the right hand of HaShem is stretched forth to receive his repentance. This is the secret of the mystical intention of Elul.

5. And through silence and being quiet, the aspect of [the vowel marking] hirik [which is a single dot] is made, as is brought in the Tikunei HaZohar (Introduction, p. 7), ""...and underneath his feet was like the work of sapphire stone" (Ezekiel 1), this is [the vowel marking called] hirik". This is the aspect of "the earth is his footstool [hadom]" (Isaiah 66) - hadom (footstool) corresponds to demima (silence) [both words derive from the same root word d-m]. This is the aspect of the bottom dot (the lower left leg) of the image of [the letter] alef, א. And the upper point (the upper right part) that is upon the alef corresponds to kether (crown) as in, "and from above the sky, upon their heads, was a sapphire stone, the image of a throne" (Ezekiel 1), [as the Tikunei HaZohar comments in it's Introduction], "hidden above the [letter] vav, ו, (the straight line that passes through the alef א horizontally) which is called 'the sky'".

The [upper] dot is the hidden throne, as was said, "don't seek that which is beyond you, and that which is hidden from you, don't investigate" (Talmud, Hagiga 13) - this corresponds to "the honor of God is a hidden thing" (Proverbs 25), corresponding to kether (crown). The [letter] vav, ו, that is within the alef, א, is 'the sky', heavens (shamayim), [the word shamayim is a combination of the words] esh (fire) and mayim (water), corresponding to the shame from which one's face changes colors, and through this a person is made to sit on the throne (which is the upper right dot/line of the letter א), as it is written, "and the image of a man (adam) upon it, above" (there in Ezekiel). "For there is no [word] 'man' (adam, אדם) without the letter alef, א" (there in Tikunei HaZohar).

And these are the letters, אדם, adam (man): [the letter] alef - [added to the word] dam (silence or blood), א דם. That is, through "be silent (דם) to HaShem" [the letter] alef is made, and a person (adam) is made to sit on the throne. For the vav, ו, that is within the alef, א, is the sky, which encompasses [different] colors, alluding to shame. And the lower dot is being quiet and silence, as it says, "the earth is his footstool (hadom, הדום). This is the aspect of [the vowel marking] hirik [which is a single dot], corresponding to "below his feet". And the upper dot is the hidden throne, the aspect of [completed] repentance, corresponding to "the honor of God is a hidden thing", corresponding to, "that which is hidden from you, don't inquire", corresponding [further] to, "above the sky" - and the person is made to sit on the throne, the aspect of "as the image of a man (adam) upon it, above".

And then, a unification between the sun and moon is made; that the sun illuminates the moon and a unification between Moses and Joshua is made, for "the face of Moses was as the face of the sun" (Tal. Bava Bathra 75) - that is the upper dot, the throne, Moses, as it is written, "His throne is like the sun across from me" (Psalm 89), the aspect of "from above the sky was an image of a throne".
The lower dot is Joshua, the aspect of the moon, corresponding to, "and below his feet was as the work of LiVNath..." - this is the moon (LeVaNa). And the vav, ו, that is within the alef, א, is the sky, an aspect of the tent [of meeting], as it says, "and Joshua the son of Nun should not depart from inside the tent" (Exodus 33). The tent is the sky, as it is written, "and He stretched [the heavens] out like a tent to dwell" (Isaiah 40), and it is written, "[You] extend the heavens like a curtain" (Psalm 104) - this is, "the curtains of the tent" (Exodus 26).

And the upper throne, meaning the upper dot [of the letter alef, א] is divided into three drops because repentance must be on three conditions. As it is written, "Lest he see with his eyes, hear with his ears, his heart understand and he returns/repents" (Isaiah 6). These three aspects are the vowel marking [called] segol (which are three dots arranged in a triangular pattern), "and [the vowel marking] segol is the sun" (Tikunei HaZohar, Introduction p. 7) - that is, "the face of Moses was as the face of the sun".


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Likutei Moharan I, Torah 6 (Part 1)

The exact wording of Rabenu [Nahman] z"l, given on Shabbat Shuva in the year 5563 (1803) in Breslov.
"And HaShem said to Moses, call unto Joshua..." (Deuteronomy 31)

1. Everyone must decrease his own honor and increase the honor of The Place (HaShem). For one who runs after honor doesn't attain honor of God, rather [he attains] honor of kings of which it is said, "The honor of kings is an investigated thing" (Proverbs 25). All inquire of him and ask: 'who and what is he that he is allotted this honor?' However, one who runs from honor, decreasing his own honor and increasing the honor of The Place - then he merits honor of God, thus people do not inquire of his honor, whether or not he is worthy. About him it is said, "The honor of God is a concealed thing" (Proverbs 25); for it is forbidden to inquire of this honor.

2. And it is impossible to come to this honor except through repentance; and repentance is essentially when one hears his disgrace and insult and remains silent. "For there is no kavod (honor) without the letter kaf" (Zohar, Pinhas). "And kaf is kether (crown)" (Tikunei HaZohar), corresponding to AHYH (a Divine Name meaning "I will be" which is associated with the Sefira called Kether), corresponding to repentance since AHYH means 'I am ready to be'. That is, before repentance one hadn't had existence, as if he hadn't yet been in the world, for it was better that he hadn't been created than having been created. And when he comes to purify himself and repent, then he is in the aspect of AHYH; that is, that he'll have existence in the world, meaning 'I am ready to be'.

This is the aspect of kether (crown), for kether is the language of waiting, corresponding to repentance, as our Sages of blessed memory said, "One who comes to purify [himself] is helped" (Talmud, Yoma 38). An example is one who comes to buy a persimmon and they say 'wait', etc. This is the aspect of kether, as it is written, "Katar (wait) for me a little and I will tell you..." (Job 36). However, before repentance, the aspect of AHYH is in hidden-face from him; for he has not yet prepared himself to be in the world. And the hidden-face of AHYH is the numerical value of dam (blood). (An explanation: the backward sequence of the Name AHYH is the numerical value of dam, as brought. That is, when spelling the name in backwards sequence, like א, אה, אהי, אהיה (A, AH, AHY, AHYH), that you return back each time [to the start of the word], it reaches the numerical value of dam. This is the turning back and concealment of the face of AHYH that reaches [the numerical value of] dam.)

That is, spilling of blood and insult, according to "those who despise Me will be disgraced" (I Samuel 2). For the blood is yet in the left chamber of the heart which is the dwelling place of the evil inclination as it says, "The heart of the fool is at his left" (Ecclesiastes 10). It (the evil inclination) is still attacking and strong and for this reason insults and bloodshed come upon him - for this is the aspect of the concealment and turning back of AHYH, the numerical value of dam (blood). The remedy for this is to change dam into dom (silence); to be among those who hear their disgrace and do not reply nor be exacting about the insult of their honor. When one fulfills 'be silent before HaShem', then the Holy One Blessed is He throws down causalities [HaLaLim] for him (that is, He takes down that person's enemies), as it says, "Be silent before HaShem and wait [hitHoLeL] for Him..." (Psalm 37), "And he will take down casualties (HaLaLim) for you" (Talmud, Gittin 7). That is, "My heart is hollow [HaLaL] within me" (Psalm 109); that means, through decreasing the the blood that is in the left chamber/hollow [HaLaL] it is the aspect of sacrificing the evil inclination. Through that, one merits Godly honor, as it says, "One who sacrifices a thanksgiving offering honors me" (Psalm 3). The Sages of blessed memory commented, "[This is] about sacrificing the evil inclination" (Tal. Sanhedrin 43).

3. One must hold to the characteristic of repentance, "For who can say, 'I've purified my heart, I've become clean of my sins'?" (Proverbs 20). For at the time a person says 'I've sinned, I've transgressed, I've committed crimes' - even this is impossible to say with [complete] purity of heart without alternation. (That is, who can say 'I've purified my heart, I've become clean of my sins'? Who can say his heart is clean and pure of alternation even at the time of saying 'I've sinned', etc, as in "Who can say... I've become clean of my sins", that is, clean of [the confession] 'I've sinned, I've transgressed, etc' which he stated, for even then he is not clean and pure of alternation.)
Hence, one must repent over the first repentance, that being the [confession of] 'I've sinned, etc' that he said, because about this it is said, "With their lips they honor me..." (Isaiah 29) since honor of HaShem comes through repentance, [but] "...they've distanced their heart from me." (Isaiah 29, continuation of the verse).

Even if a person himself knows that he repented completely, even so he must repent over the first repentance because when he repented originally, he did it according to his attainment [of awareness, as it was then]. Afterwards when he repents, he definitely recognizes and attains [awareness of] HaShem more. Hence, according to his current attainment, [he realizes that] his original attainment was definitely categorically worldly. Hence, he must repent over his first attainment, over having materialized the loftiness of HaShem's Godliness.

This is the aspect of the world to come which will be entirely Sabbath; that is, entirely repentance, as it is written, "You shall return/repent [ShaVTa (same letters as 'Sabbath')] unto HaShem your God" (Deuteronomy 30); for the world to come is mainly the attainment [of awareness of] HaShem's Godliness, as it is written, "And they will know me, from their littlest to their greatest" (Jeremiah 31). Hence at every time they will attain a greater awareness, then they'll repent over their previous attainment.

This is what our Sages of blessed memory, "Everyone who sacrifices his inclination..." (Tal. Sanhedrin 43), meaning the aspect of repentance, corresponding to "My heart is hollow within me", "Be silent before HaShem", corresponding to [the Divine Name] AHYH, kether (crown), honor, [all] as mentioned above - "...and confesses over it..." (continuation of Tal. Sanhedrin 43), meaning he confesses over the sacrifice of his inclination, that is, he repents over his previous [incomplete] repentance and attainment [of awareness of HaShem] - " is as if he honored the Holy One Blessed is He in two worlds" (continuation of Tal. Sanhedrin 43). For the original repentance was the aspect of honor [of HaShem] in this world, and after that repentance that he merits a higher attainment and recognizes the loftiness of HaShem's Godliness more, thus repenting over the first repentance - this is the repentance that is the aspect of honor [of HaShem] in the world to come.

This is what our Sages of blessed memory stated, ""A bright light and darkness" (Zechariah 14) - a light that is bright in this world will be dark and dull in the world to come" (Tal. Pesahim 3). Hence, in the world to come when people will merit a greater attainment [of awareness of] HaShem's Godliness, they will definitely become remorseful and repent over the attainment of this world. For the attainment of this world is in the aspect of rain/physicality compared to the attainment in the world to come. This is like honoring the Holy One Blessed is He in two worlds: the sacrifice of the [evil] inclination is the original repentance, which is honor [to HaShem] in this world. And the confession over the sacrifice of the [evil] inclination, the second repentance, corresponds to the honor of the world to come; that the first honor is made dark and dull compared to the second honor.

And this is what the Holy One Blessed is He says, "You did these and I remained silent, you imagined I would be [AHYH] like you..." (Psalm 50), for a person, through being silent, attains [the aspect of] AHYH (meaning 'I will be'). However, the Holy One Blessed be He, when he remains silent towards a person, it is not for [the aspect of] AHYH, God forbid, for this is not appropriate to the Holy One Blessed is He; [rather, Him remaining silent] is only that people will receive their punishment in the world to come, because there they set out one's sins before his eyes, and they reprimand him to his face. This is [the second part of the verse from Psalm 50], "...I will reprimand you and weigh before your eyes."

(Continued here)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Likutei Etzot (Compilations of Advice), Knowledge 7-14

Knowledge (continued)

7. One who damages the honor of the true tzadik has the light of the intellect and knowledge closed and he is unable to attain new insights in the Torah. He is also considered a dead man. (From Likutei Moharan I, 21)

8. Sometimes the mind and knowledge become hidden, and then crying out [works] well for a person, whether during prayer or [learning] Torah. Through this he births forth mind and knowledge. (There^)

9. A person is essentially intellect and knowledge. Therefore, wherever the intellect ponders is where that person is. Therefore, one must very much run away from evil thoughts, in order to not set one's place there, God forbid. One must bend and force himself to [think] good thoughts, in order that he'll merit to know and to reach awareness of HaShem. Hence, that he'll be there, exactly, and incorporated in HaShem. All the more one knows, the more he is incorporated into him and merits eternal life and merits to wholeness of knowledge and is saved from all lack. (There^)

10. All of the judgments, God forbid, are drawn from a lack of knowledge, causing anger and cruelty. Therefore, one who is sick [is one whom] judgments are out upon him and his mind is detracted; therefore, he is angry. However, through greatness of knowledge are all judgments sweetened and canceled out [as well as] anger and cruelty being canceled out, meriting great mercy and knowing that all that comes across a person is all for good because it is entirely good. (There^)

11. All of the greatness and good that the nations of the world have now - it is all for our good and greatness. Even though now it is impossible to understand all this, for one cannot deny the reality - even so, in the future, knowledge will increase until even the nations of the world themselves will know and understand that all their greatness and good - all of it was for our good. (There^)

12. The main comfort of all sorrows and the main hope and the main life of the world to come and it's delight is only an attainment of holy knowledge, which is to know HaShem truly. All will become pure and merit this in the future, even the nations of the world, as it is written "for the world will be filled with knowledge of HaShem..." (Isaiah 11). However, there will be a great difference and distinction between their [the nations'] awareness and our awareness, because that which will be considered a great and wondrous attainment [of knowledge] by them will be a joke and a simple matter by us. Also, between Israel themselves there will be a great distinction between each tzadik, and especially so between a tzadik and the wicked; for everyone will attain [awareness] according to his service [of HaShem] and his strain and bother which he hassled, strained, and suffered the bitterness of this world for Hashem. Even great tzadikim, when they will arrive to the world to come on the attainments that the great tzadik attained in this world, they will be amazing things by them and they'll blaze and be enthused by them. And by this great tzadik, from them, it will be a simple thing, for also in this world he attained these attainments; and that which he will attain in the world to come will be much, much greater, and thus [it will be] between a person and his friend. Understand well and place your heart well on these matters, that you'll see to prepare for yourself life for eternity, and if you'll have been wise, you'll have been wise for yourself. (There^)

13. When a person thinks good thoughts about Torah and service [of HaShem], through this he merits to understand more at each time. Through that, he is saved from ambush and assault, and all of the destructive [forces] will run from him and he won't fear them at all. (There^)

14. The month of Elul a time that is a segula for knowledge; that is, that one will merit to attain the makifin of the intellet and to make the makif internal, until he will have other makifin and through this he makes garments for this soul and is spared from every ambush and assault, as stated above. (There^)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Likutei Etzot (Compilations of Advice), Knowledge 1-6


1. Knowledge is mainly in the heart. For also the idolatrous nations have knowledge, but it is without heart; rather, knowledge is mainly when it is in the heart. And there in the heard is the place of dear, that is, the know HaShem in one's heart and not in his brain alone. That is, that he should draw and attack his mind into his heart, until terror, fear, fright, and fear fall upon him from the greatness of HaShehm - until he awakens to serve him in truth, until he merits to fear of the loftiness [of HaShem, as opposed of fearing his punishment], that he'll know who he should fear. And this is merited through hitbodedut, through self-judging oneself , and through this the hidden light is merited. (From Likutei Moharan I, 15)

2. All of the sorrows, troubles, exiles, and lacking that a person has - be it [in] livelihood, children, or health of the body - all is only according to the measure of lack of divine knowledge; and when the divine knowledge is made whole, then the lacking is made whole (meaning there is no more lack). The eternal life in the future will be mainly because of knowledge, that knowledge will increase and everyone will know HaShem and through this will be included in his oneness and then they'll live eternal life like him. For through the knowledge of him are [people] included within him, which is the main yearning of the world to come. Therefore, it is necessary to guard divine knowledge and [one's] thoughts very well, that they'll be in holiness, to guard from the evil thoughts and to always dwell on thoughts of Torah and service [to HaShem] and to endeavor to arrive to holy knowledge, upon which everything depends. ((From Likutei Moharan I, 21)

3. To arrive to a wholeness of knowledge is impossible except by sanctifying the mouth, nostrils, eyes, and ears. Meaning to guard himself from bringing deceit out of his mouth; that he'll have fear of Heaven, which is the holiness of the nostrils; that he'll have faith in the Sages, which is the holiness of the ears: to believe in them and to listen to their words; and that he'll close his eyes from seeing evil. And through this, he'll merit whole knowledge upon which all depends. And through that, he'll merit holy enthusiasm of the heart, for enthusiasm of the heart is born from movement of the intellect. Therefore, when a person thinks of Torah and service [to HaShem], through this his heard is enthused to HaShem. And all the more one grows his mind and moves his intellect in holiness, thus his heart is heated and enthused more, And through holy enthusiasm of the heart, one purifies his heart, for juxtaposed to [the heart] being enthused and burning for a transgression or an evil lust, God forbid, that from this the heart is made impure - juxtaposed to this one's heart must be enthusiastic and burn for HaShem in Torah and prayerl through that, his heart is purified and he merits a pure heart through which he merits to speak between himself and his Creator with new words each time, which is the aspect of ruah hakodesh. (There^)

4. Also, through a person being humble, lowly, and patient, and not raging his anger over his humiliation, he sanctifies the nose completely. Through him being the "faithful of spirit covers up a matter", and when he has a secret revealed to him and he is careful to keep it and not reveal it to another - through these he sanctifies the ears and through all of his one draws influx of knowledge. (There^)

5. Through the sanctification of the mouth and the ears, [eyes, and the nose], which are the seven candles, through this one merits to draw wondrous intellect which is the Godly influx, which is the wholeness of divine knowledge that one reaches without any previous parable (which would help him understand the concept; meaning without this he simply merits to receive an influx of divine knowledge directly to his mind without anything preceding it), rather [it is received] through Godly influx [alone], which is the aspect of ruah hakodesh. (There^)

6. The paradoxical matters by which we're confounded, like knowledge and choice (meaning how free choice can exist even though HaShem ultimately knows beforehand what we will choose) - know that the human brain cannot understand this knowledge. For this intellect is the aspect of a makif that this intellect is very, very great until [the point that] the brain cannot handle it, and it doesn't enter into the mind except that it is a makif (literally: it surrounds it) from the outside; and if he would know this intellect, he would be in the category of an angel and not [any longer] in the category of human.
Know, that this is the main power of choice (free will): that which isn't the intellect (awareness) of [foreknown] knowledge [of HaShem] and (as opposed to) [our own free will and] choice. And in the future, when the human intellect will become greater and [then] it will be revealed to the human [mind the reason of how HaShem can have fore-]knowledge and [yet we still have] choice - then, truly, choice will be nullified because then through the greatness of the intellect one will exit the vcategory of human and go up to the category of angel and choice will be annulled. From this, understand that your ideas about the matters of this paradox of knowledge and choice, and things like it, shouldn't confound you, because now it is impossible to understand this intellect (awareness) of knowledge and free choice in any way; for all of these [paradoxes] correspond to a makif that is impossible to bring into the mind in this world which is the world of choice. For this is the main power of choice, not knowing the intellect (awareness) of knowledge and choice. (There^)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Likutei Etzot (Compilations of Advice), Pride and Humility 17-32 (end)

Pride and Humility (continued)

17. The more a person makes himself small (insignificant), the more he has the force of pull; that is, to draw the divine presence of [HaShem's] Godliness to those on the lower levels, that he (God) will dwell among us - which is HaShem's desire from the day he created his world. Thus, to draw people to him and to draw them near to serving HaShem, and also to draw good influxes and blessings to Israel. As such, he merits to be drawn to and to come closer to the true tzadik. (From Likutei Moharan I, 70)

18. Through the holiness of the Sabbath one merits true humility. That is, to see one's [own] lowliness and to recognize the importance of Israel and to give over his life for their sake, like Moses our teacher, peace be upon him. (From Likutei Moharan I, 79)

19. Humility is mainly that one holds himself below his [actual] level, lower than what he is. But in any case, he should never go out of his place to hold himself above his [actual] level. (There^)

20. Through humility and lowliness, no one can take him out of and put him off from his place, that is, to infringe on his livelihood, God forbid. (There^)

21. Through humility one is spared from promiscuity. However, through greatness (pride), the evil inclination for this lust overpowers him. (From Likutei Moharan I, 130)

22. A segula for being spared from greatness (pride) is to honor the holy days and receive them with joy and in wideness of heart according to one's ability. (From Likutei Moharan I, 135)

23. Being close to the tzadik annuls greatness (pride). Therefore, this is a sign whether one is attached to the true tzadik, if he has [true] humility. (There^)

24. Through humility [to the point that] one is literally nothingness, this one merits Torah and greatness in one place. However, without this it is hard for them, Torah and greatness, to be together [in one place]. (From Likutei Moharan I, 162)

25. When a person has greatness (pride), it is a sign that trouble will come to him, God forbid. And thus to the opposite, when he is humble and lowly, he'll come to great honor. (From Likutei Moharan I, 168)

26. Of the idea of the sword of pride that comes through converts, see [the section] Honor, [number] 28. (From Likutei Moharan II, 5)

27. The main honor and greatness of kingship, of a leader or ruler is through humility. The more the king or ruler has humility, his kingdom and rule spread more. (From Likutei Moharan II, 16)

28. In the idea of submission, the world errs much, see inside [the quoted section in Likutei Moharan]. And one must guard himself from invalid humility, and to pray to HaShem much about this, that he'll merit true humility as is HaShem's will. (From Likutei Moharan II, 22)

29. The main resurrection [of the dead] in the future, that [the dead] will live and arise at the resurrection, it will be only for the lowliness of each one. That is, that only the lowliness of each and every one will be made living and will arise at the resurrection. For the wondrous pleasure which is eternal life of the world to come is impossible for a person to receive except for the lowliness and humility of everyone - that [aspect of the person] itself will merit living, the pleasure, and the eternal life of the world to come. (From Likutei Moharan II, 72)

30. The lowliness and humility of Moses our teacher is rooted within each and every one among Israel, in each and every limb. However, this humility and lowliness is hidden from everyone in an aspect of death. Therefore he doesn't himself feel this lowliness and he is therefore far from this lowliness and humility. However, through drawing himself closer to the true tzadik and seeing him, and all the more so when he merits to hear Torah from his mouth, through this he merits shame and repentance. And through this, he merits that this lowliness and humility will be living by/in him and her thereby merits true humility which is the aspect of eternal life of the world to come. (There^)

31. One must pray and request a lot from HaShem that he'll merit true lowliness and humility, for we do not know, at all, what true lowliness and humility is. For it is definitely not the ultimate end to be despised and a sluggard which they call a shleimazelnik. For humility is the main vitality of each limb, it's all the pleasure of the world to come; and it's definitely not the main goal of the world to come to be despised and a sluggard, etc, God forbid. Therefore, one needs to just request from HaShem that he'll help him merit true humility and lowliness which is the main life and main pleasure of the world to come. (There^)

32. When a person himself sees that things are not going for him the right way, he should know that he has greatness (pride), and he should repent and throw himself down [so that] he'll be the aspect of 'what', and then it will go back to going the right way for him. (From Likutei Moharan II, 82)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Likutei Etzot (Compilations of Advice), Pride and Humility 1-16

Pride and Humility

1. Through humility of the true tzadikim until [the point that it reaches] the aspect of 'nothingness', through this he [the true tzadik] can atone sins. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 4)

2. Through humility one merits the spreading of physicality and is included into Ein Sof and he [comes to] know that all that all the events [that occur to him] are all for his good; this is the aspect of a glimpse of the world to come. (There^)

3. Through pride comes poverty, God forbid. (There^)

4. Through humility one merits repentance, because the essence of repentance is through feeling one's [own] lowliness, smallness, and his many damages; and he understands that it is definitely proper for him to suffer insults and bloodshed in order to draw closer to the truth. This is the essence of repentance. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 6)

5. Even one who fasted and mortified himself shouldn't become proud and think that he's already a tzadik and can do pidyonot and pray prayers [to cause things that only tzadikim can accomplish]. For he must contemplate himself and see that after all the fasts and mortifications, all his lusts remain attached to his body, and also, the filth of the lust of his father at the time of conception - this is also attached to his body still. When he looks at this, great dread will definitely fall upon him and he won't err [in believing] that he is a tzadik; and he will endeavor to bring and return all the prayers to the true tzadikim because only they know to pray and to raise up prayer properly, and the Holy One Blessed is He desires their prayers and sends an ordered prayer to their mouths. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 10)

6. These arrogant ones who prevent themselves and others from going to the tzadikim for [them, the tzadikim] to pray over them - they delay HaShem's desire. (There^)

7. To annul pride, which is idolatry, is mainly through drawing closer to the tzadikim. (There^)

8. Through annulling pride, wisdom is on its rectification, and one merits life and length of days, and judgments are sweetened; and one merits faith and great joy and to reaching the Torah [both in its] revealed and hidden [states], and [one merits] the aspect of Ruah HaKodesh. (There^)

9. Pride corresponds to idolatry. Through pride, one cannot open his mouth and he doesn't have strength of speech to speak illuminating words. And when Torah comes into his mouth, it isn't only that the words of Torah don't shine for him to return him to good, rather that even the Torah itself becomes physical and darkened there in his mouth. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 11)

10. Pride and promiscuity are interdependent, and when one guards his brit, he is saved from pride and merits the light that shines for him to repentance - until he merits to come to contemplation of the Torah in its depth.

11. There is humility that the ultimate end of is greatness, that is, that one is humble as a result of him knowing that greatness is very despised; therefore he is humble in order to become precious and honored. Hence, he is humble for greatness and honor. Hence, one must be wise over his matters and distance himself from greatness to the ultimate end until the other end, as our Sages of blessed memory said, "be very, very low of spirit", for greatness is the aspect of the seven houses of idolatry, that through this Israel was exiled from their land and through this we haven't yet returned; as a result of running after honor through the greatness. (There^)

12. A person does not merit Torah except through lowliness - that he'll break his pride from the four aspects of lowliness. For he must make himself smaller before those greater than him, before people according to his worth, and before those lesser than him. Sometimes - when he himself is the smallest of the small, he needs to make himself small according to his own level, and it will seem in his eyes that he is below his level. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 14)

13. One must guard himself from all the things that people make themselves great in, and they are three things: wisdom, might, and wealth. That is, he needs to break [any of] his pride that he has in all these things and be humble and lowly in all of them. (There^)

14. According to [the amount] that one breaks his pride, thus is the [amount] that he merits Torah. Through this he merits to draw those far away closer to HaShem, and through this HaShem's honor is made great and elevated, and [thus] he raises honor to its source and [through that] merits fear. Through this, he merits peace [in his] home, peace in his bones, and through this he merits prayer and through that he merits all-encompassing peace, peace in all the worlds. (There^)

15. Through greatness one falls into arrest [that is, being arrested by authorities]. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 22)

16. When [those of] the generation don't watch their mouths, through this the good people of the generation stumble, God forbid, into pride. Therefore these good people of the generation must much contemplate the greatness, splendor, and importance that comes to them, for every one according to his worth, little or much, to contemplate and to look upon himself that he doesn't stumble by pride which is the exile of the divine presence, God forbid. (From Likutei Moharan  I, 58)

(Continue to the next section)